OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City University’s virtual graduation ceremony was cut short when someone posted a racial slur and a swastika.
Saturday’s ceremony, held using the online streaming service Zoom, was nearing an end, with the names of graduates scrolling across the screen, when the racist images appeared. The Zoom meeting then abruptly came to an end.
“Our Class of 2020 graduation was cut short by a horrendous act of racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism,” university President Martha Burger said in a statement, adding that state and federal law enforcement have been notified.
The ceremony was held using the streaming service Zoom in place of a in-person ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic. Cyberattacks known as “Zoom bombings,” where intruders interrupt online meetings, sometimes with racist or lewd messages, are becoming more common as millions of people turn to video conferencing to stay connected.
“Although we took safety precautions, unfortunately the digital platform we used to connect has become a target,” Burger said. “We will ensure that all participant data is provided to investigators and will assist law enforcement as they work to identify the perpetrators of this racist act.”